Wild Young Minds: Heroin killed Hoffmann

Monday, February 3, 2014

Heroin killed Hoffmann

'Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off and dead
Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore'

is what the late Lou Reed sang in his song 'Heroin'. Quite a dark song but perfectly fitting the drug described. While I'm writing this, I'm listening to an hour of songs which have to do something with heroin on Radio6 (my favourite jazz radio station). Too many songs for just an hour, cause heroin is the artist drug par excellence. Many jazz artists used it: Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, to name a few. It is extremely addictive and so a great deal of the users have died using it.
Not only music artists are known for using it, but also actors, including River Phoenix and Robert Downey Jr. And yesterday a name was added to the list of deads caused by heroin: Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment in Greenwich Village. It is not yet known if it was because of an overdose or if the heroin he used was polluted. Fact is that the police found 50 bags of heroin in Hoffman's apartment.

With the age of 46, I'm not sure if I am able to add Hoffman to the famous list of those who died young (am reading a fabulous book on this subject, if I'm allowed to express myself this way!) but he definitely will become a legend. Especially his portrayal of that other legend Truman Capote in the biopic 'Capote' will go into history as one of the best acting performances ever. I have to say that the only other film I've seen him in was 'The Big Lebowski', in which he had just a small part, but definitely a good one. Despite the fact that I don't know that much about him, I find it hard to imagine he died because of an heroin overdose. He comes across as such a sweet, innocent guy. Somewhat chubby, his hair a bit too light but never hard and cold as I imagine heroine users to look like (Miles Davis for example).

But, despite his looks (what do they say, after all?) Hoffman was a frequent user anyway. At the age of 22 he had already recovered from an alcohol and drug addiction. He probably wasn't meant to remain clean, for he relapsed in 2013 and finally, the filthy drug costed him his life in 2014. Such a shame, such a waste and such a futile dead. Let's hope heroin will once lose all of its force of attraction and will die out. The sooner, the better.

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